The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into beauty by Soetsu YanagiThe Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into beauty by Soetsu Yanagi

The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into beauty

bySoetsu Yanagi, Bernard LeachAdapterBernard Leach

Paperback | June 21, 2013

Pricing and Purchase Info

$42.07 online 
$47.00 list price save 10%
Earn 210 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


This book challenges the conventional ideas of art and beauty. What is the value of things made by an anonymous craftsman working in a set tradition for a lifetime? What is the value of handwork? Why should even the roughly lacquered rice bowl of a Japanese farmer be thought beautiful? The late Soetsu Yanagi was the first to fully explore the traditional Japanese appreciation for "objects born, not made."

Mr. Yanagi sees folk art as a manifestation of the essential world from which art, philosophy, and religion arise and in which the barriers between them disappear. The implications of the author's ideas are both far-reaching and practical.

Soetsu Yanagi is often mentioned in books on Japanese art, but this is the first translation in any Western language of a selection of his major writings. The late Bernard Leach, renowned British potter and friend of Mr. Yanagi for fifty years, has clearly transmitted the insights of one of Japan's most important thinkers. The seventy-six plates illustrate objects that underscore the universality of his concepts. The author's profound view of the creative process and his plea for a new artistic freedom within tradition are especially timely now when the importance of craft and the handmade object is being rediscovered.
S?ETSU YANAGI was born in Tokyo in 1889 and graduated from the literature department of the Tokyo Imperial University in 1913, majoring in psychology. Proficient in English and with a deep feeling for art, while still a student Mr. Yanagi became associated with the Shirakaba ("Silver Birch") literary group, to which he was partly respo...
Title:The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into beautyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9.47 × 7.12 × 0.67 inPublished:June 21, 2013Publisher:Kodansha USALanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1568365209

ISBN - 13:9781568365206

Look for similar items by category:


Editorial Reviews

"Yanagi pinpoints qualities of 'true' beauty with an authority that hardly allows us to differ. As does Solzhenitsyn, he feels that beauty is a real entity and not different from truth." —Craft Horizons

"This book is a quiet manifesto for the preservation and enhancement of crafts." —Washington Post